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Scrappy Trip Quilt in Spring

Wasn't it time for another Scrappy Trip quilt!  I need to make a couple of these every year it seems.  It's such an enjoyable block to make.  I used a lot of spring and summer fabrics in this one.  

I tried to use the darker value strips as the center of each block which gives it a more defined pattern, although not overly obvious. 


Jacob's Ladder Quilt


Here's a Jacob's ladder quilt.  I so enjoyed and love the finished product of my nine patch Jacob's Ladder.  But that was a lot of little pieces.  This quilt is a four patch instead of nine patch, so gives a similar effect but is quite a bit quicker!  

To make one the size of mine: 

Cut your 4 patch squares at 2.5".  
Cut your squares for the half square triangles at 4 7/8".  

As for the values:

Always pair a light with a dark.  But be sure to mix in medium values and only compare to the current fabric you are piecing it with.  Don't overly concern yourself if pieces are in a lighter or darker category.  It's those medium value fabrics that are sometimes called a dark because you pair them with a light, and sometimes called a light because you pair them with a darker print, that make for that interesting dynamic.  

If you are too distinct with your dark and light, you won't get that softer look that fades in and out.  It will have a very defined pattern, which is fine if that's what you want!  But I tend to like a less defined pattern, where in some parts of the quilt it's more defined than others.  This comes by using a general rule of lighter and darker but not overthinking it!  

Cross Quilt


This cross quilt was started last fall, with a specific person in mind.  I wanted something a bit more muted and simple in design than what I generally make.  Along the way, I decided to make this person something else instead, but I finished the quilt anyways.  

Now that I see it in photos, I realize that it is still fairly busy and has a lot going on.  Guess it's just really hard for me to make a quilt without adding texture and print and color!  I really do like it though, it's nice to do a different color palette for a change.  

That one green print with the little stitches on it?  Those stitches are part of the fabric, I didn't put them there.  Just thought I'd mention it as I don't deserve the credit for those sweet little stitches!  Fabrics like this with added interest and texture are always a win to have in your stash.

It finished up at approximately 54" square.  I'm not usually a fan of square quilts, so not sure how this happened?  I think I got lazy and didn't feel like making more blocks to make it a rectangle.... anyways, here it is and I like it!

Penny Patch (ish) Quilt


Before I begin talking about my latest quilt, I want to thank all of you who commented so thoughtfully on my last post!  To manage my online time, I have generally chosen to not interact extensively online, which means I often don't reply to comments.  Thus I gratefully receive each comment I get as a beautiful gift, knowing that it takes an effort to communicate.  I don't expect or require it in any way, but it's still much appreciated!  (and you should go read the comments from my last post, they are interesting and not necessarily the replies I expected!)

Now let's talk about this quilt!  I was feeling frustrated with some recent quilt block fails, and nothing was feeling 'right'.  I just wanted something fool proof and scrappy.  I thought of Stitched In Color's Penny Patch Quilt, as it's one I did long ago and always thought sometimes I'd make another.  I found her instructions and studied the quilts made with this pattern.  I always do this, mainly to analyze values.  As I often say, the colors are the fun part but the value placement is what makes the whole quilt design work, or not work. 

At first glance, I knew that I wanted to have all the blocks in the quilt of a similar value. The exception would be those little four patch squares that run in diagonal lines up and down.  They would be the opposite value.  So in this case I wanted a dark moody quilt (I was listening to Lord of the Rings:).  I decided all the main quilt body would be dark value and the little four patch squares would be light.

Now you are thinking "Yes Jolene, that's all fine but this quilt does not look like the Penny Patch quilt?"  Well, after making a couple blocks I realized that just this one block from the quilt pattern would make a lovely design on it's own.  

So I continued making blocks like this, and think it's a great simple pattern that is almost no fail.  You could try using the opposite values to what I did for a lighter quilt.  Or use the entire Penny Patch pattern in the values I used here.  (I plan to do this)

For a simple visual, I'm adding a photo below that shows the sizes you need to cut for this one block.  I always make my quilts by cutting enough fabric for a few blocks, maybe about 6.  I make these and put them up on the design wall to analyze my value and color selections.  Then I choose some more fabrics and cut another 6, and on and on.  This way I have control as I go along and don't waste fabric by cutting it all out and then realizing I don't like the way it's looking.  

Here's what you need for one block.  So simple, right?!  The magic happens when you start putting the blocks together!  It's addicting I tell you.  I'm curious if this is a traditional block that has a name?  Or maybe multiple names as many blocks have.  If you know of one, I'd love if you'd mention it in the comments and I could add it to this post.

Four Patch in a Square Quilt


Here's another quilt that I finished a long time back and now realized that I didn't add to my blog.  This is a favorite of mine, and is one of the few quilts I plan to keep.  It's a time consuming pattern to make as it includes lots of little pieces, but it's so cute in any fabric, it's a no fail pattern!

I do have a simple tutorial for this block here

With so many seams, this quilt ends up being a little bit stiffer than some.  This is also something to consider when trying to make soft quilts.  More seams can make it less soft.  Now this is not something I concern myself with alot.  It's only noticeable when there is a large amount of seams in a small space like this quilt.  

I backed it with a double gauze and hand quilted it with a golden colored perle cotton.

Hills Improv Quilt


This quilt has gone to it's new home awhile back as well, but I just realized that once again there are a backlog of quilts that I have not blogged about.  I don't want this to happen, as I like to keep a journal of my projects, even if not many people read blogs anymore.  This is also a special quilt that I've put off blogging about because I don't know how much to say about it.

Let me explain a bit.  Almost every larger quilt I work on has a book, or theme imprinted into itself.  This is because I usually listen to audiobooks while I'm quilting.  So quite often a larger quilt will naturally correlate with the book I happened to be reading. This doesn't neccesarily mean that the quilt has any meaning or theme related to the book, it is just connected in my head.  Of course the stronger connection or reaction I have to a book,  the stronger the remembrance is years later.  There are definitely some quilts that don't have any book connection, but there are also some quilts that I made 4 or 5 years ago that I clearly connect a book with the quilt.

I've sometimes thought it would be interesting to mention this book in my blog post, or possibly name the quilt with a theme from the book.  The reason I don't is fairly simple.  It feels like a leap into my personal life which I've clearly drawn a line on since my first days of blogging.  I share almost no personal information here which has been a conscious choice on my part.  I have sometimes wanted  to share more, as I realize there can be value in this.  There are also drawbacks, a big one for me being that I'm not interested in dealing with a highly interactive online presence.  I appreciate comments and encouragements so much, but my real life takes most of my available energy and I guard my quilting very closely as a relaxing hobby.  So to start talking about the books I read and my inspirations for various quilts might seem like a simple thing, but for me it's crossing a high line of privacy that I've mostly maintained.  Now, I'm not saying that to change this would be a bad thing!  I'm obviously considering it!  

Another reason is that I sell most of my quilts, and I feel strongly about the person who buys my quilt being the new owner of the quilt and it's no longer 'mine'.  This is the aspect that I'm curious how others would view this.  If you were purchasing any handmade item like this, would you like to know the maker's interpretation and inspiration?  Or might that take away from what it possibly could mean to you?  I'd love it if anyone would weigh in on their opinion!